What Makes an Effective CV?

Having an Effective Curriculum Vitae (CV) is Essential

Having an effective Curriculum Vitae (CV) is essential as a starting point in the job seeking process. It sounds easy to do.  However, being objective about one’s own experience is a lot more difficult than you might think.

Structure is Important

It is important to have a structure in mind.  It’s also essential to remember the purpose of a CV.  The fundamental purpose of a CV is to secure an interview for the role that you are applying for. Your CV forms a snapshot of your career and experience to date.  The interview is to probe you further to flesh out the experience that you have by asking relevant questions for the position available.

Effective CVs contain the following

Contact Details

This sounds like an obvious point and it is! However, you would be surprised at the amount of CVs that are sent with job applications without any phone number or indeed email address. Don’t make it difficult for the recruiter to contact you for what might be your next perfect job! It’s advisable to include your full name, postal address, email address and mobile phone number. Ensure you have a pleasant and professional voicemail facility on your mobile so that you don’t miss calls from recruiters!

Profile Summary / Objective

At the beginning of a CV, include a brief summary of your objective or career history which is relevant to the job or job types that you are applying for. Ensure that it is relevant to the job in question and keep it to a maximum of three or four lines in a paragraph format so that the recruiter or hiring manager can get a sense of your value early in their reading of your CV.

Education History

This should be written from the most recent education first as generally this will be the most advanced education level achieved by the individual and it should continue from there to the oldest at the end of this section. Some applicants will separate out third level / professional education to on-the-job training such as “Time Management” or “ECDL”, etc. This is advisable as they are two distinct categories of education.

Career / Employment History

This should be written from the most recent employment first and in descending order from there. The reason for this is that the current job is often the most relevant experience and it shows your current experience to the potential employer. The experience leading to this current role can be read at the recipient’s leisure thereafter and generally will show the career path the applicant has taken and the flow of that path. Ensure that you include details of your experience here that is relevant to the job types that you are applying for.


Simply include “Available upon Request” – there is no compulsion to list contact details here. This will allow you to give the most relevant referees to a potential employer at the latter stage of a hiring process.

What Length Should a CV be?

The general consensus about CVs is that they should be no longer than two pages. Generally, this remains true however; where a person’s experience grows; two pages becomes impossible.

The Information must be Relevant

Don’t apologise for this once the information contained within is relevant. Don’t allow it to become multiple pages though, good text formatting and use of vocabulary can keep it concise whilst still relevant.

If you remain unsure about your CV, send it to us today.  One of our consultants will review it and contact you to discuss.